Is This Loss Prevention Method at Nordstrom Rack Customer Centric? 

My wife and I spent a weekend with my daughter and fiancée in Atlanta so the group felt one of the most important things besides catching a sports event and seeing the touristy spots was shopping. So we proceeded to go to several shopping centers and malls in the Buckhead area, north of Atlanta.

Nordstrom Rack 016Towards the end of Saturday and after walking about 12,000 steps, I decided to bypass Nordstrom Rack at Buckhead Station, supposedly the last store of the day. With bright southern sunshine, I hung out about 15 feet from the exit to relax and take weight off my tired legs. About 2 minutes later, the anti-theft alarm goes off as several customers leave the store. The customers gently walk towards security to show them what they had purchased. False positive. At that moment, I thought this must be an anomaly where the alarm is falsely triggered.

About 5 more minutes of relaxed sunshine before the alarm was triggered again. Again, the customers stopped once they notice their bag had triggered the alarm and casually proceeded towards security. No issues as they eventually made their way out of the store. Several minutes later, that same sound was triggered, but this time security hurried out of the store to flag down potential offenders. Again, a false positive. In amazement, my focus was no longer on the sunshine, but rather, why so many false positives?

If it had been me, I would not be so forgiving. I do not shoplift and have no desire ever to attempt such a thing so if I had triggered the alarm, I’m sure my non-verbal reaction would have shown my annoyance.

Nordstrom Rack 020With such a small sample, I wonder how many times this alarm is triggered during a course of a busy Saturday at Nordstrom Rack. What’s the issue? Is merchandise lost to shoplifting a big issue at this store? If so, are they going about it all the wrong way? Do some or any shoppers think this is annoying, or is this par for the course at this store or elsewhere in the Buckhead shopping area?

If the cashier forgets to remove the tag that triggers the alarm, shouldn’t the responsibility be on the store to make some sort of reparations? Why should an honest shopper be given the look and review just because stores think this is the most effective or least expensive theft protection approach?

Look, I’m all about loss prevention although it needs to be implemented in such a way that only those customers who are guilty are targeted. Perhaps giving customers a 25% discount on their next purchase if anyone is subjected to having their bags searched when only paid items are found. I was quite surprised at how casual shoppers were about having their shopping bags searched containing on goods that were paid for by cash, debit or credit card or a check.

Nordstrom Rack 016Maybe being a baby boomer would make me react more defensively than most of the millennial generation who had their bags searched.

Again, it would be useful to know what other theft protection methods Nordstrom Rack employs at this store? I would seriously consider bypassing such a store knowing that if I purchased something or brought something in the store previously purchased, I could be subjected to a security review. I certainly view this as being customer centric. Do others feel this way or is this the cost of shopping in 2016?



By Kevin Schwarm